Babies are all very different.
These routines are a guide only.
Your child is strongly influenced by the environment, daily activities and routines. A predictable routine (sequence of activities) including a wind down period (for example, meal, bath, cleaning teeth, story time, brief cuddle and kiss, and into the cot/bed) helps your child establish good sleep patterns.
The feed, play, sleep routine is the core structure of a baby's day at any age. As your baby matures, day playtime increases and night patterns continue but without playtime.
Your baby is unique therefore their need for sleep and the time of waking varies. The following routines are a guide only as your baby's needs and tired signs /cues for sleep may vary from the examples below.
Some days things will go smoothly but illness, disruption to the family environment and/or extra busy days out can all affect your baby's routine.
By 6-8 months your baby's routine is starting to change. This is often a time when your baby is more active during the day and may drop to two day time sleeps. Base your routine on your baby's cues/ needs for sleep. If your baby is generally alert and happy your baby is probably getting enough sleep
By 6 months your baby can commence taking solids. It is also a good time to commence feeding your baby cooled boiled water from a cup.
Some ideas for interacting during awake time include:
- Floor play
- Music/ singing
- Story time/nursery rhymes
- Finger / toe games
- Toys – that move, make sound, colourful and vary in texture
REMEMBER: it takes time for your baby to develop a predictable routine. This can be a fun time as your child develops new skills such as exploring their world. As your baby becomes more mobile it is important to ensure play areas are safe.
By eight months your baby may have moved to just two day time sleeps. If your baby wakes early or you need your baby to go to bed later, an additional sleep may be needed.
At this age babies may still be night waking or even start to night wake – this can be related to separation anxiety a developmental stage for this age. If this happens provide your baby with reassurance and try to resettle with minimal fuss.
Some ideas for interacting during play time include:
- Playing music, singing and dancing
- Providing moving toys/dolls /teddies
- Reading stories and using cloth books
- Singing nursery rhymes/cloth books
- Playing stacking games
- Playing with toys – that move, make sound, colourful and vary in texture
- Using pulling and pushing toys
- Visiting friends, local parks and play groups
REMEMBER: As your baby is now more mobile it is very important to ensure your home environment is a safe environment for your inquisitive toddler e.g. child proof locks
As your baby gets older he/she will progress to only one sleep per day – watch your toddler cues/ tired signs. The morning sleep will progressively get later in the day until it becomes a middle of the day or early afternoon sleep. Your child's tried signs/cues will help you identify their need for sleep.
More information on how to reduce the risk of SIDS and sleeping your baby safely can be obtained from the SIDS and Kids website or by contacting SIDS and Kids by telephone on 1300 308 307.
For further help:
- Visit either your local Child and Family Health Centre or local doctor.
- Call Tresillian Parent’s Help Line on (02) 9787 0855 or 1800 637 357 (Freecall outside Sydney)
- Speak to a Tresillian Nurse on-line at Tresillian Live Advice